A Review of Vampire The Masquerade: Winter’s Teeth

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I have a hit or miss relationship with tie-in materials. On the one hand, Dragonlance was my first fantasy series before Lord of the Rings and because of that I am unbelievably excited for the new books coming out this year. On the other hand, as much as I love Vampire The Masquerade, I found the Clan Novel saga left me very cold. My vision of Vampire is personal and focused. I didn’t care about jet-setting around the world or what the heads of the Tremere were doing in Vienna. So why am I reviewing the two trade collections of the recent comic book series? In short: I came for the game material and stayed for the comic.

Winter’s Teeth continues Vampire The Masquerade Fifth Edition’s awkward policy of scattering game material across multiple media. Hopeful, the recently announced Player’s Guide for this edition collects some of these wayward elements, but until then, the only place to find these elements are in the back pages of this comic. The two trade collections pull all of them together, collecting the loresheets, coteries, disciplines and character write ups all together after the story arc is over.

Most of the game material is specific to the storylines of the comic book. There are write ups of various characters and loresheets that connect characters to backstory from the book. At first I was disappointed they only wrote up the main character and several minor characters who don’t last long in the narrative. But then my Storyteller instincts took over and I realized how easy it would be to drop these characters into a different storyline. Several have interesting hooks, like a Gangrel Primogen who turns into a tiger instead of a wolf, or a band of ex-ghouls that have turned their dependency on vitae into a weapon. I also enjoyed the thin-blood alchemy recipes which were presented in the style of menu entries from the brewery featured as a central hub of duskborn in the main story.

The comic is split up into two major storylines. The first follows Cecily Bain, a Brujah Anarch turned enforcer for the Prince of Minneapolis. She takes in a Caitiff in the first issue while navigating the tricky politics of the Camarilla court. The second storyline centers around a coterie of nomad Anarchs. Both stories eventually cross paths but I ultimately preferred the Bain storyline. It had more of what I want out of a Vampire: The Masquerade story: hard choices, unexpected loyalty, sudden betrayals and brutal violence. It also illustrated how a newer game concept could be used in a story. Cecily’s Touchstone is her elderly sister. She visits her from time to time for a quiet moment or reflection. The sister was never in danger but still proved to be a good source of character moments for the lead. I also have to call out the covers from Aaron Campbell and David Mack. They are some of my favorite art for the setting since the original Timothy Bradstreet pieces.

I liked both arcs of Winter’s Teeth and look forward to using elements from the books in my upcoming Vampire chronicle. The next arc is complete but I’m a trade reader, so I’ll have to wait until Vault Comics collects the story of Garou attacking the Twin Cities and see what clues I can pull out for the new edition of Werewolf.
 

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland


TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
In the right hands WoD is a true potential cash-cow. I wonder if Paradox Entertaiment realises the threasure they have in their hands.
They released a new edition (5th) in 2018. They're released Hunter the Reckoning 5th edition and Werewolf the Apocalypse 5th edition soon. They've released like three video games in the last few months or so. There's this comic and another one comic soon (Crimson Thaw), and they also released a collection of novellas a few months back. They're doing a pretty good job!
 

BRayne

Adventurer
They released a new edition (5th) in 2018. They're released Hunter the Reckoning 5th edition and Werewolf the Apocalypse 5th edition soon. They've released like three video games in the last few months or so. There's this comic and another one comic soon (Crimson Thaw), and they also released a collection of novellas a few months back. They're doing a pretty good job!

Plus they announced they're working on TV shows and movies last year
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
Plus they announced they're working on TV shows and movies last year
I didn't know that! I'm excited for it.

But back to Winter's Teeth. I'd also recommend it. I own both compilation volumes and they're a good read. There's going to be a follow-up focusing on Werewolves in the same area (twin cities) called Crimson Thaw.
 

Yes, there is a project about that, even Enworld published a new about that.

But if we compare with other franchises, for example D&D or Warhammer, they have still a long way to go. In the second half of the 90's in Spain it was the second most popular RPG franchise after D&D. Those were times when Edward Cullen was totally unknown!

If Pugmire is a kid-friendly IP, Onyx Path could publish a kid-friendly version of Changeling.
 

Raduin711

Adventurer
They released a new edition (5th) in 2018. They're released Hunter the Reckoning 5th edition and Werewolf the Apocalypse 5th edition soon. They've released like three video games in the last few months or so. There's this comic and another one comic soon (Crimson Thaw), and they also released a collection of novellas a few months back. They're doing a pretty good job!
Part of me is going, "So where's my Mage?"
Another part of me does not envy the task that Paradox must have trying to do... anything at all with that game.
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
Part of me is going, "So where's my Mage?"
Another part of me does not envy the task that Paradox must have trying to do... anything at all with that game.
I've read and dabbled in the setting of World of Darkness, but Vampire: the Masquerade V5 is my first actual RPG! It's really interesting that they designed all these other supernatural creatures RPG to inhabit the same universe, but I have attachment to them. I might take interest if they update some of these games as I find the old White Wolf books to be really hard to read because of their graphic design.
 

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